Monday, August 25, 2014


Style & Co. ruched-side tee, Jolt black pants, necklace - Macy's
Gap belt, thrifted

    This is one of those outfits that I liked while wearing it ... then I came home, took a few photos, and realized I'm undecided on side-ruched tees. I think the bunched fabric around the middle can be unflattering from certain angles.

    A few snippets from everyday life with 25 fourth-graders:
  •     The wording "at least" stymies them. I wrote on the board recently that they needed to answer "at least" 3 questions, and was asked by multiple students how many they needed to do.
  •     I was reading to the class from a book and they asked how old it was. I checked the publication date and it was from 2002. This was deemed "pretty old."
  •     A weird-looking bug crawled into our room on Thursday and caused quite a commotion during language arts. I ended up grabbing a broom and swooshing it out the door into the grass outside. (One of my students offered to stomp on it, but in the classroom I am a bug pacifist.)
      A white tee  is always touted as a closet essential, but I've found that for some reason mine go unworn. My colored and patterned tees seem to be the ones I reach for first. I like the idea of them - so simple! - but in reality I think I avoid them because I worry that they're too plain. However, with this outfit I think the necklace and belt made this outfit look a little more pulled together.

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    animal-print overload

    Xhilaration top, Target
    D&Y scarf, Ross
    bone necklace, Seattle craft fair
    linen shorts, Macy's
            Just a quick iPhone photo because I thought this was pretty cute for a weekend outfit ... who knew that flamingos and animal print mixed so well?
           This top was included in my July budget, but not pictured. When I looked it up on the Target site, I was amused to see that it described as a crop top. It is definitely not a crop top on me! I suppose being short-waisted has its (few) benefits?
           My sis is in town for a little more than a week, which means we spent part of Sunday ambling around the mall. I found a cute pair of pants and a lightweight cotton shirt that I'm excited about wearing. I'm a little bummed that our summer schedules didn't coincide, but as my colleague pointed out, having family in town just gives me more incentive to leave work on time so I can enjoy some quality time at home.
        ** Hurricane update: I am so thankful that my island was spared. Hurricane Iselle did knock down some very large trees and cause flooding and power outages on other islands, so we were lucky to get off so easily - Friday was cloudy and humid, but that was it. The second storm, Julio, has veered far off and should result in larger surf but nothing else.

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    July budget: in the pink

    tank, $2.08 (used $10 rewards), Gap
    black maxi skirt, $8.99, Ross
    Maison Jules tee, $14.82, Macy's

    not pictured:
    Kensie top, $13.99, Ross
    Xhilaration flamingo-print crop top, $10.48, Target
    elodie crochet tank,  $17, Nordstrom Rack

    TOTAL: $77.36
    BUDGET: $50
    OVER: $27.36

        I have never considered myself one of those women who adores pink, but ... look at my purchases this month. Two of my not-pictured items are pink as well. I'm not thrilled that I went over budget (again!), but I figure that at least I added an under-represented color to my closet and just about every item can be worn for work. Yes, even the crop top ... I guess having a short torso has its benefits. I didn't even know that it was meant to be a crop top until I looked it up on the Target web site and saw it described as such. It is a perfectly acceptable length on me, and who doesn't think flamingos are fun?
         Belatedly linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers!

    hunkering down

    J. Crew linen dress, Savers
    XOXO sports bra worn as camisole, Ross
    necklace, Haitian Beads 

          Hawaii has two hurricanes heading this way in the next few days, and everyone is on high alert. Most stores are sold out of cases of bottled water and toilet paper. I dropped by a drugstore on my way to work, foolishly thinking that there might be regular 16-ounce bottles of water. I had forgotten my metal bottle at home, and just wanted one to drink through the school day. There was not a single bottle on the shelves, and I saw several people with multiple rolls of paper towels (maybe a substitute for the elusive toilet paper?) I settled for no-calorie grapefruit-flavored sparkling water instead.              
          Driving home, I heard that the city is canceling bus service on Friday, when the first hurricane is scheduled to hit our island. I'm hoping that the public school system plays it safe and cancels school Friday. I don't live close to work, and the thought of driving through high winds and heavy rains makes me (an already anxious driver) even more anxious.
    Hey,  my hair almost looks shiny in this photo!

            A little about this outfit: I liked this outfit because I stayed cool and felt professional and stylish. Using a sports bra as a camisole made a tangible difference. My Haitian beads also picked up the color of the dress beautifully and made the outfit feel polished and intentional. I particularly like the sparks of bright yellow against the fuchsia. 


    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    high hopes

          Whoo, I wasn't expecting to have my summer break be a blog break as well, but I will try to get a post up or two once the start-of-school-year madness subsides.
           In the meantime, here's a picture of my new hairdo! Longer hair has been my security blanket for a while, but I am thoroughly enjoying this haircut. My workplace is very warm, and having my hair this short forces me to wear it down vs. having it up in a ponytail all the time. Also loving how easy it is to wash and that I don't really have to do anything in the morning. I'm still trying to adjust my sleep schedule to make waking up at 5 a.m. a little less arduous, so a low-maintenance hairstyle means a little more time to eat breakfast and prepare for the day.

          While it's only the first week of school, I have a feeling this is going to be a very different year. First off, this group's energy seems very different from last year's bunch.  I loved last year's kids, but their energy was frenetic at times. This group seems a little more laid-back. I am also trying out the Responsive Classroom approach, which means I have been explicitly teaching social skills, building community, and teaching classroom routines/procedures in a different way. I admit that I'll miss all the free time I had during the summer, but it's exciting to be in a classroom again.
       What's making you happy lately? 

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

    June budgeting roundup

    Ann Taylor sleeveless floral-print shell, Savers, $6.82
    A lightweight but dressy-looking top for work. I thought the color combination was pretty and unexpected.

    Tommy Bahama linen long-sleeve buttondown, Savers, $11.07
    I thrifted a Tommy Bahama silk shell a few months ago, and loved the quality of the fabric. I like that this looks a little like chambray, but will be cooler to wear. 

    J. Crew sleeveless linen dress, Savers, $11.08
    I need lightweight, work-appropriate dresses for most of the school year, and I think this will be a nice addition to my closet. The armholes gape just a bit, but I think taking in the dress from the back would fix the problem. Someone also did a half-hearted job on shortening the straps, which I will unpick and do properly.

    Style & Co. petite print dress, Macy's, $19.24
    Another dress that looks promising for work ... it even matches our school colors!

    Eddie Bauer gray tee, Sam's Club, $8.38 (not pictured)
    I bought this because I wanted to add some embroidered embellishment to the neckline, but for accountability purposes decided to add it to my clothing budget vs. my crafting supplies budget.

    BUDGET: $50
    TOTAL: $57.95
    OVER: $7.95
         I'm a little disappointed that this is the first month with a posted budget in which I've gone over ... but at the same time, I think all of these items will be well-used for work.
    ** Linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

    summer sewing: black floral chiffon kimono

            Style & Co. petite V-neck tee, Macy's
    distressed denim mini, Old Navy

            Summer = sewing time around here, and this is the first thing I whipped up. I've been wanting to buy a kimono top for a while, but saw many (albeit with pretty embroidery) going for $50 in stores. That's my entire monthly clothing budget, so I needed an alternative.
           I headed to the fabric store and picked up 2 yards of this rather florid print for $12. A bright print on a black background just says summer nights to me ... although I will admit that most of my summer nights are happily spent sitting on the couch with a book vs. going out. I liked the big print, but going for a straightforward floral was a stretch for me. I tend to lean toward abstract/graphic florals, so I'm still undecided on whether I like the print, although the colors are beautiful.
            This is basically 3 rectangles sewn together - no separate sleeve - which I think accounts for the voluminous fit. I've never sewn with chiffon before, so it was an interesting project - I used French seams for the first time (to enclose the madly fraying raw edges) and hemming the neckline, bottom, and sleeves took up the  bulk of sewing time. This came out a bit longer than expected, and it almost has a cocoon shape - notice how the side seams hang a bit lower than the rest of the hem in the side view below. I think it also has to do with the slouch of a generously cut arm opening.

        Nonetheless, I think this came out OK for my first time working with chiffon, and a longer hem has an unexpected benefit - more styling options! I figured out that I can alter the silhouette by tying the ends in front:
    Or tying the ends in the back gives you just a peek of print in the front ...
    ... and an interesting draped effect in the back.
       Now I just need to figure out different ways to wear my kimono ... for its inaugural wearing, I went with the classic white V-neck tee and denim bottoms option, which is what you'll often find when you Google "styling a kimono top." Some other styling options:
    • dark skinnies
    • white jeans
    • tucked into a pencil skirt as a kind of wrap top
    •  And since Suzanne just blogged the versatility of a little black dress, I'm wishing I owned a simple black dress that I could pair up with this kimono ... I don't see many people wearing kimono tops with a dress, maybe because of hemline/proportion issues, but it sounds intriguing.
    Do you own a kimono top? If so, how do you style yours (I'm looking for ideas!)